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Faster Mobile Internet Growing In Iran Despite Higher Cost

Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi, Iran's Minister of Communication and Information Technology, has promised to quadruple the speed of fixed broadband connections in the current Iranian calendar year.

According to the latest figures released by Iran's Internet regulatory body, more than one million fixed broadband customers have ended their subscriptions in favor of mobile internet in the past one year despite the higher costs.

The Wireless Networks Regulation Organization (WNRO) says currently there are more than 78 million internet subscribers in the country of which 69 million have mobile subscription while nine million use fixed broadband connections. Iran's population is around 82 million.

The figures also indicate that the number of mobile Internet subscribers increased by 4 million in one year while the number of fixed broadband subscribers has dropped by nearly one million despite the higher cost.

According to a report by Mehr News Agency on Saturday, the reason for subscribers' migration from fixed broadband to mobile Internet may be the lower quality and speed of fixed broadband.

In April the Minister of Communications, Mohammad-Javad Azari-Jahromi, took a poll on his Instagram account in which he asked whether people preferred fixed broadband to 4G- mobile internet. The majority of respondents to his query said they preferred to have access to fixed broadband.

The respondents also indicated that they were unhappy with the speed of fixed broadband provided to them. Azari-Jahromi has promised to improve fixed broadband networks in the current Iranian calendar year which started on March 21 and quadruple the speed of fixed broadband connections.

According to the figures released by WNRO by March 20, 2020 the Internet Penetration Rate (IPR) in Iran has gone up to 94 with 83 percent of subscribers only using mobile internet. According to Internet World Stats, the IPR in Iran for the year 2018 stood at 69.1 percent.

Iran was connected to the global net in 2004. According to SpeedTest Iran now ranks 67 in the world for mobile internet speed and 129 for fixed broadband.

There are more than 600 internet service providers in Iran. Every internet service provider (ISP) must be approved by the Telecommunications Company of Iran (TCI) and the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance.

ISPs are required to install filters to block access to banned sites whose content is considered as immoral or politically undesirable. The country has spent billions to set up an alternative to the global net to control access to the world web.